An addictive novel about contemporary parenthood and modern family life.
'A beautiful study of familial need and mess...insightful till it hurts.' Nikita Lalwani
'Bold and remarkable...full of heart and compassion.' Dinaw Mengestu
A grandfather returns home from abroad to visit his adult children. The son is a failure. The daughter is having a baby with the wrong man. Only the grandfather, the proud patriarch, is perfect - at least, according to himself.
Over the course of ten intense days, the relationships of this chaotic and entirely normal family unfold and painful memories resurface. Something has to give. But the son is duty-bound to his father through an arrangement they call 'the father clause'. Can it be renegotiated, or will it bind everyone to the past forever?
In The Family Clause, multi-award-winning writer Jonas Hassen Khemiri has created a tender, funny and bruising novel about what it means to be a good parent, the difficulty of understanding those closest to us, and how it sometimes takes courage just to stick around. An ode to families, their dynamics, their boundaries and their silences, in all their messy glory, it reveals one of the real challenges in life: how to stop your family defining your destiny.
Behold the great innovator of Swedish literature, with a unique ability to fill his prose with energy and vigour. * Joenkoepings-Posten * I was drawn into this fascinating story right from the beginning and couldn't let loose for days after I had put down The Family Clause. And now, some weeks later, I know I will never forget the grandfather, the son who is a father, the sister, or the girlfriend. They are here to stay in my mind, like those other fictional characters you never meet in real life, but who you would recognize on the street the minute you saw them. Their personalities are far from perfect, but because of that, you love them all the more for who they are. The Family Clause vibrates with rueful humour and quiet wisdom. The more you get to know the characters contained within it, the more you see how tremendously large Jonas Hassen Khemiri's heart must be. His redemptive vision is rare and needed in these dark times. A bold and remarkable novel - a marvel of form and imagination that is also miraculously full of heart and compassion. A beautiful study of familial need and mess, in which the universal and the particular play footsie with each other. Deft, artful, but above all insightful till it hurts, this is Khemiri's best yet.